While midriff-baring silhouettes are far from new — and have certainly had several moments in recent years — fashion’s go-to outerwear has, for the most part, remained covered-up and cozy. Yes, shorter designs have popped up here and there in street style and on the occasional catwalk, but it’s felt like more of a sprinkling than a storm... until now. If the New York Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2023 runways are any indication, all manner of cropped jackets will dominate the latter half of this year.
The beauty of this trend is that it is truly spanning the entire outerwear category. Designers like Sergio Hudson, Heron Preston, Prabal Gurung, Simkhai, and Dion Lee all put their own stamp on the look, applying it to everything from blazers and shackets to leather jackets and faux fur teddy bear coats. And while skin-exposing toppers may seem counterintuitive to chilly fall and icy winter temps, these designers are making it work with cozy details and strategic layering techniques.
First, let’s talk lighter options. Fall suiting reimagined as ‘80s-inspired blazers were seen in short boxy silhouettes at Sergio Hudson. The designer went for bold, showcasing the jackets in highlighter pink and yellow with contrasting black piping. Hudson also seemed to be doubling down on the no-pants trend that’s been circulating these recent months, showcasing his cropped confections with black hot pants, sheer black tights, and platform Mary Janes.
The tried and true leather jacket, another fall and winter essential, also got a flirty makeover for 2023. Designers like Heron Preston presented belly-baring shacket shapes with coordinating micro mini skirts, while Simkhai and Prabal Gurung added suede and faux fur detailing respectively to their versions. To stay warm, proper layering and accessorizing are key here. Sheer long-sleeve tops and furry knee-high boots were employed at Heron Preston, while Simkhai added in high waisted houndstooth maxi skirts to keep skin covered.
Cuddly styles also got the chop, as seen at Prabal Gurung and Dion Lee. Prabal showcased vivid red coats with faux fur collars alongside sleek slacks and printed waist belts. At Dion Lee, interesting angular cuts and zippered detailing made the otherwise traditional and precious teddy coat feel edgy and cool — as did the sultry double-slit skirts seen paired with the bulky topper.
If you’re already taking mental style notes for six months down the road, make sure cropped outerwear is at the top of your list, as it’s sure to be the look of the season.